Brief synopsis of sessions held on the 27th of February
1. Influencing without Authority
We heard from the Head of the UK’s most successful political engagement organisation, about the importance of lobbying, and the role of creating interest groups. Part of this was on neutralising opposing views and make a universal case for your cause. He also spoke about being well informed and ensuring you have empirical data / proper research on issues you speak about to ensure buy in.
2. Leadership in a Challenging Environment/Islamic Importance of Leadership
In this session the visiting scholar covered the characteristics and approach required to stay steadfast in a leadership position, through lessons that he drew from a story in Surah Yasin (verses 13 to 27). A number of key learnings were derived. A leader should always clearly visualise the ultimate goal/objective they are working towards, which can only be achieved if they have 1) a sincere intention, and 2) expend the corresponding effort to achieve it.
The scholar also emphasised that we shouldn’t be hung up on titles, rather we should focus on outcomes, and what we can achieve irrespective of where we are in facilitating that change. Leadership isn’t about being in the forefront, but about influencing.. and wherever you influence from, you are a leader (collective responsibility and non-dependency on an individual).
As leaders we should not be deterred from trying to succeed in what others may have attempted in the past but failed, since success and failure are not only measured in the worldly sense. Rather real success is determined by Allah based not only on the outcome, but the intention and effort. Leadership requires a positive, optimistic approach in all situations, and this is consistent with the outlook of true believers in general. As leaders we should not allow ourselves to be subjugated or belittled, neither should we stay still, because in reality, if you are not progressing,you are regressing. If we think of ourselves to be successful and have patience, then we will be successful, insha Allah.
3. Workshop Session
We asked the attendees at the beginning of the day to identify what they thought should be the top 3 goals of a Muslim Network. During this session, the consultants, broke everyone up into teams and gave them a distinct area from the response to the priorities question to feedback what they thought were the enablers required to fulfil their particular aim (see relevant slide in pack for output from this session)
4. Legal Rights
The slides used for this session are attached in the pack. The speaker took us through how discrimination law works and the some relevant cases. the underlying message was that we need to engage with our organisations proactively to get the facilities / requirements we have, since we aren’t fully afforded it by law. The additional point is that to be aware of how we raise our issues, because we inadvertantly end up causing more issues and affect our relationships with colleagues. An example we were given was of a particular employee who demanded a new fridge in which to keep his sandwiches because other colleagues used the fridge who may have had pork based sandwiches etc. The fact the Muslim employee could have asked for a separate shelf within the fridge or have it in a container didn’t make a
difference to him, instead he bought his own fridge and said no one else is allowed to use it!
Also discussed was the Corporate Values Index (CVI). This is CUBEs initiative for 2016 onwards, for more details or to get involved, please email email@example.com
5. Cube & The Corporate Values Index (CVI)
We also heard about the great work the Cube Network is doing in bringing together different firms across the city (please see relevant slide in the deck) on this point, if you would like to join their leadership mailing list, please click here
The CVI is designed to support and safeguard the interests of Muslim staff within professional organisations as well as adding value to City as a whole. As Muslim’s we have a duty to influence for the better those around us and this index will help achieve that through
1) annual assessment and corresponding ranking of companies, based on their policies in relation to ethical awareness/behaviour and a subset of which is provision for Muslim staff
2) Recognition of senior Muslim and non-Muslim supporters/role models for their efforts in championing of Muslim causes inside and outside of the workplace, thus enabling support networks among influential stakeholders
3) Provide centralised advice and guidance to corporate Diversity & Inclusion units through a committee of Muslim professionals who will advise on all matters related to primarily Muslim staff and policy, but helping guide the wider conduct and ethics agenda
The CVI will inshaAllah will help drive behaviours from firms, as well as choice of employer for people who are socially and Islamically conscience.
‘The lessons from Leadership from an Islamic angle completely changed my view of Leadership!’ AH, Civil Service
‘Alhamdulilah I was not sure what to expect before the day started but am very glad I enrolled.
All the speakers were great and everyone I spoke to on the day said they learnt a lot of new things. May Allah reward you and your team for all their hard work’. ZK, Consultant